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Joe Denly Dropped, Joe Root Returns to England Squad for Second Test in Manchester

Jason Holder takes Joe Denly's catch. (Twitter)

Jason Holder takes Joe Denly's catch. (Twitter)

England captain Joe Root confirmed that they have dropped Joe Denly from the squad for the second Test against West Indies in Manchester beginning Thursday.

England captain Joe Root confirmed that they have dropped Joe Denly from the squad for the second Test against West Indies in Manchester beginning Thursday.

Root had missed the first Test in Southampton for the birth of his second child. In Root's absence, England lost the Test by four wickets to give West Indies a 1-0 series lead.

Root will return to the England XI and also take over captaincy from Ben Stokes, who had stood for him in the first Test.

Denly has been struggling in Test cricket, with an average of only 29.53 from 15 Tests. His place was put under further threat by an innings of 76 from Zak Crawley in Southampton.

Denly, who batted at No. 3, made 18 and 29 in the two innings.

Root, however, said the door was not closed on the 34-year-old Denly.

"Joe is someone that's done a fantastic job for us over a period of time, and I think he'll be just as frustrated as anyone that he's not managed to quite convert those opportunities," Root said. "But certainly the door's not closed. He's been a big part of our squad for some time now. He gets if he gets an opportunity to come back again, then I'm sure he'll be desperate to take it."

Crawley, meanwhile, has played 5 Tests for 250 runs at an average of 31.25, with two half-centuries. The 22-year-old is expected to take the No. 3 position in Manchester.

While the swapping of Root with Denly was on expected lines, England will face a bigger dilemma in their bowling unit. They had dropped Stuart Broad in Southampton, after which the pacer openly expressed his unhappiness.

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Mark Wood and Jofra Archer had combined for only five wickets in the Test, which could open the way back for Broad again.